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The Colleoni statue at Lincoln Park brings the spirit of Venice to Newark

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Venice is a romantic land where some tourists and Venetians take rides on gondolas. It is also a mysterious city state in Italy where people disguise themselves with Venetian masks during festivals. When we look at the remarkable Colleoni statue at Lincoln Park, we can see that a part of Venice is in Newark. The statue of Colleoni that is in Lincoln Park is a replica of the original statue that stands in Venice created by Andrea del Verrocchio. Christian William Fergenspan, who was President of the Fergenspan Brewing Company in Newark, New Jersey, paid J. Massey Rhind $70,000 to create a copy of the Colleoni statue. The Colleoni statue once stood at Fergenspan’s property at 53 Lincoln Park.

Bartolomei Colleoni was an Italian condottiero; a condottiero was the head of the Italian army. During his military career, he was very successful as he won many battles in Italy. In 1455, he was named captain-general of the republic for life. When Colleoni was not engaged in battle, he worked on agriculture and making improvements to his Venetian properties. He also helped others through his charitable works.

Before his death in 1475, Colleoni left money so a statue would be created so that other generations would remember him. Now Colleoni is not only remembered in Italy but also in the United States with the replica of the Colleoni statue at Lincoln Park, the only reproduction of this iconic statue in the world.

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